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Car explodes after woman smoked cigarette while spraying air freshener

By Mason White 2:21 PM September 8, 2017
Ford Focus exploded from air freshener
Ford Focus exploded from air freshener
By: Tanya Clark

A woman was surprised that her car exploded while smoking a cigarette, according to police in the United Kingdom.

The Essex Fire Service said that the incident unfolded on Wednesday, at around 12:00 p.m.

Firefighters were called on reports of a Ford Focus on fire, and explosion in a parking lot in Southend.

When firefighters arrived at the B&Q home improvement retailer, they found the car was not on fire, but the vehicle had suffered significant damage.

The car’s windows, doors and roof were blown off.

The cause of the explosion has been confirmed as accidental.

The explosion happened after a buildup of gases from an aerosol air freshener.

The gases were then accidentally ignited by a cigarette.

The owner of the car suffered minor injuries, and she has been taken to Southend University Hospital.

Temporary Assistant Divisional Officer Justin Benson-Ryal, said: “Incidents like this are extremely rare, but it is important for everyone to be aware how flammable aerosol cans, such as air fresheners and deodorants, can be.

“We strongly advise that you not to use an aerosol in a confined space, and also, you should not smoke during or shortly after use.”

The fire department issued the following advice following the car explosion.

Dispose of spent aerosols by recycling where possible.

Do not store quantities of aerosols indefinitely in sheds and garages or under sink cupboards etc.

Use only as directed.

Protect from sunlight and do not expose to high temperatures.

Do not pierce or burn, even after use.

Do not spray onto a naked flame or any incandescent material.

Keep away from sources of ignition.

No smoking during or shortly after use.

Do not store or display in areas affected by direct sunlight.

When appropriate, keep products in their original packaging.